3 lb chicken, skinned
4 thai chile, whole dried
1 cinnamon stick, 2
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin, whole
2 teaspoon ginger, fresh
1 teaspoon garlic; finely crushed
15 apricots, dried; pitted
6 tablespoon oil
2 large onion
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup ; water
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon white malt vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 oil; for deep frying
1 large potato, red; peeled
1 tablespoon salt
Directions: How to Cook Sali Jardaloo Murgi (Chicken With Apricots And Potato)
Peel and cut the onions in half lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into very fine half-rings. Mix tomato paste and water. Break up cinnamon stick somewhat. Peel ginger and grate finely.
Cut the chicken into serving pieces. I say if you do it right, you get 11 pieces: two wings, two drumsticks, two thighs, a back, two breast halves, the pulleybone, and the giblets. This means cut it up yourself, rather than leave it to some idiot with a meat saw at the supermarket.
Put the chiles, cinnamon, cumin seeds, cardamom pods and cloves into a spice grinder or coffee grinder and grind as fine as possible. If you don't have a spice grinder, use a mortar and pestle and be prepared to take forever getting the spices to the proper degree of powder. Put the chicken in a large bowl, and add 1 t. of the ginger, 1/2 t. of the garlic, and half the ground spices. Mix well with your hands, rubbing the seasonings into the chicken. Set aside for 1 hour.
Put the apricots in a small pan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer, uncovered, until the apricots are tender but not mushy. When the apricots are tender, turn off the heat and let the sit in their own juice.
When the chicken is through marinating, heat the 6 T. of oil in a wok or very large, heavy skillet. When hot, put in the onions. Stir and fry until they turn a rich, reddish-brown color. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rest of the ginger and garlic. Stir once or twice, and add the remaining ground spices. Stir once or twice and put in all the chicken. Stir and brown the chicken lightly for 5 minutes. Now put in the tomato paste liquid and the salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar. Stir to mix. Cover again and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and skim off as much of the fat as possible.
Put the apricots into the pan with the chicken. If the apricots were only sitting in about 2 or 3 tablespoons of liquid, put that in the pan. If there is more liquid than that, discard the extra. Gently slip the apricots in between the chicken pieces and let them soak in the sauce for at least 3 minutes.
Make the potato straws: fill a large bowl with about 2 quarts of water. Add the salt and mix. Grate the potato as coarsely as possible. Put the potato into the bowl of water. Stir the potatoes around with your hand. Now remove the potatoes from the water, a handful at a time, squeezing out as much water as possible. Spread the potatoes on a dish towel. Pat with paper towels to dry off as much moisture as possible.
Pour vegetable oil into a wok or cast-iron frying pan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over a low heat, and let the oil heat slowly. Don't try to force it. When it is hot--this may be 10 minutes or so--put in a smallish handful of the uncooked potato straws, which will begin to bubble. When they stop bubbling, stir them until they are crisp and a pale gold color. Remove with a wire spoon or slotted spoon and leave to drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Continue and repeat until all the potato is used. When ready to eat, put the chicken in a warmed serving dish and garnish with the potato straws.
-- The Taste of India Madhur Jaffrey
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